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Independent Research, Investigation and Advocacy for Maritime Human Rights

Who are we?

Human Rights at Sea is a

Foundation Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

& Registered Charity (Number 1161673) based in the United Kingdom

Our Mission

To explicitly raise awareness, implementation and accountability of human rights provisions throughout the maritime environment, especially where they are currently absent, ignored or being abused.

Our Vision

To become a leading independent maritime human rights platform.

Our Charitable Objectives

To promote human rights (as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent United Nations conventions and declarations) for seafarers, fishermen and others involved in working at sea throughout the world by all or any of the following means:

1. Increasing global awareness of the explicit requirement for protection of, respect for and provision of effective remedies for human rights abuses at sea through international advocacy, the publishing of case studies and where applicable, the provision of teaching materials.

2. Contributing to the international development of effective, enforceable and accountable remedies for human rights abuses at sea.

3. Investigating and monitoring abuses of Human Rights at Sea.

4. Developing the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights in the maritime environment.

5. Commenting on and supporting proposed national and international human rights legislation, policies and best practice, where applicable.

What we do

The Human Rights at Sea Charitable Incorporated Organisation has been independently developed for the benefit of the international community for matters concerning explicit engagement with human rights issues in the maritime environment. Our work in undertaken across four key areas:

Our Oversight

Provided by the UK Charity Commission.

Our Governance

Provided through the Trustees backed by a written CIO Constitution, a Non-Executive Board of Advisers and an iterative ten-year internal Strategic Plan. Legal, accounting and financial governance is provided by highly reputable entities, while Human Rights at Sea undertakes its work through a secure online and multi-media platform.

Our work is about doing what is right for those who ask for our help. As such, we are strictly unbiased in our approach to issues and our interactions with governments, organisations and individuals.

Testimonial Icon

“Seafarers UK has been proud to support Human Rights at Sea from its early days as an innovative but persuasive cause, through a period of challenging and stimulating growth as it won new partners across the maritime welfare and legal sectors, to an increasing maturity within this complex, poorly understood but absolutely fundamental area. I very much hope that growing appreciation of the need will lead to even more robust support for the charity and as a consequence it will be a vital provision for the world’s seafarers.”

Commodore Barry Bryant CVO RN, Director General, Seafarers UK

“Human Rights at Sea is a powerful advocate for the rights of seafarers. Working in partnership with charities like the Apostleship of the Sea, the global reach of the charity has enabled a spotlight to be shone on human rights abuses at sea and remedial action to be taken.”

Martin Foley, National Director, Apostleship of the Sea

“The work of Human Rights at Sea for those missing at sea not only sustains the memory of men and women who would otherwise be forgotten by the world, but also assists investigation. MPHRP will do all we can to add value to the work with families who suffer this loss.”

Tom Holmer, Programme Manager, Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme

“Fishing is a labor intensive activity that occurs in harsh environments, it is extremely important to us to not only look after our crews safety, welfare and development but to encourage better standards around the world for fellow fishermen and fisherwomen. Working with Human Rights as Sea has helped us to gain a better knowledge of the problems and most importantly they have helped direct our efforts towards greater responsibility and accountability.”

Barrie Deas, Chief Executive, National Federation of Fisheries Organisations

“For over a year Human Rights at Sea has been the main supporter of Sea-Watch in its mission to raise awareness on the migration crisis in the Mediterranean and provide concrete assistance to rescues at sea. The charity has continuously empowered Sea-Watch by offering its human resources and international network to provide legal assistance and media support to our NGO.”

Georgia Linardi, Legal Adviser and Mission Coordinator for External Relations, Sea-Watch

Our Flagship Programme

The Missing Seafarers & Fishers Reporting Programme


The Vision is to become the focal international database for recording missing seafarers and fishers.

Our Flagship Programme engages with and supports the ISWAN Seafarer 24hr Helpline & the International Bar Association’s eyeWitness for Atrocities app

Our Charity supports and promotes the UN Sustainable Development Goals for Gender Equality

Our Charity supports and promotes the UN Millennium Development Goals

specifically Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women & Global Partnership for Development in all our applicable work areas.

Millennium Goals logo

Our Charity has been a member of the UN Global Compact since 2015